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Wednesday, Nov 22, 2017
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Dog lovers want park in Seminole Heights

SEMINOLE HEIGHTS - Roscoe, an 8-year-old black Labrador retriever, would love to frolic at a dog park with his four-legged, tail-wagging friends. His owner, Maurice Rosas, is working on it with a few of his own friends. A band of dog owners – many of whom routinely walk their dogs on Saturdays in and around Henry and Ola Park – hope to gather at least 250 signatures on a petition to persuade Tampa parks officials to build a fenced-off dog park. Parks officials say they will set aside land if there is enough interest, and if canine enthusiasts gather donations and sponsors for the dog park's construction. The city would be responsible for the park's upkeep with help from neighborhood volunteers.
"So far we've had a favorable response," said Rosas, who has had Roscoe for about seven years as a service dog. "We are still in early stages of the process." Petition signatures are being gathered at the city's suggestion at the website, www.citizeninvestor.com. Area businesses are supportive, including Health Mutt, Gott Glass Sculpture Gallery, Courteous Canine and The Independent. Dog park organizers also are seeking in-kind support from area electricians, plumbers, engineers, concrete companies and landscapers. "There is no dog park in the area and it is badly needed," said Angelica Steinker, owner of Courteous Canine. She offers dog training in New Tampa, Seminole Heights and South Tampa. The dog parks especially are needed for families with large- or medium-size dogs that need a lot of activity. And, "people are very friendly and pet-oriented in Seminole Heights," she said. Once the dog park is opened, Rosas said, Boy Scouts and students from Seminole Heights Elementary School might be among volunteers recruited to help out.

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